If my landlord filed for bankruptcy, can I get my security deposit back?

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If my landlord filed for bankruptcy, can I get my security deposit back?

I have security deposit receipt. I’ve always paid rent on time. After moving out, my landlord wrongfully claimed damages to property without any receipt or itemized statement (I have proof property was in perfect condition when I returned the keys). Landlord didn’t perform the walk-through (I requested it several times) and I have a witness backing me up that helped me when I moved out and returned the keys/apartment in perfect condition. Landlord filed for Chapter 7 after I moved out (case is terminated/debtors discharged). Landlord still has full-time job and owns property. Can I still sue him for not returning my security deposit?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your former landlord filed for Chapter 7 bankrupcy protection after you moved out of the rental and he or she did not return your secuirty deposit, you cannot sue the landlord for the security deposit in state court at this time.

Rather, your recourse would have been to submit a proof of claim to the bankruptcy court for the return of your security deposit or file an adversary complaint against the landlord to prevent the discharge of the debt owing you for the security deposit. If the landlord has been discharged in his bankruptcy of his debts, you unfortunately are time barred from pursuing your security deposit.


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